From the moment the Kickstarter was announced, my UK-based Retro compatriates and I knew this was going to be a special occasion. The Sonic Adventure Music Experience was headed to our shores courtesy of Sonic Stadium patriarchs and event organizing extraordinaires, Adam “T-Bird” Tuff and Svend “Dreadknux” Joscelyne. Excitement was instantly at fever-pitch. To top it all off, it was in December, which lined up perfectly with the latest Sonic Retro UK Winter Barcade – the timing was impeccable. So, how was the show and the events surrounding it I hear you eagerly ask? Hit the jump to find out!
summer of sonic
In an exciting announcement for Sonic fans in the UK, the Summer of Sonic team has launched a Kickstarter that aims to bring the Sonic Adventure Music Experience to London on December 8th, 2019. Past performances of this show have featured Jun Senoue on guitar, Takeshi Tanada on bass, and Act. on the drums playing some of the greatest hits from the two Sonic Adventure titles with a sampling of other pieces from the series as a whole. With a minimum £38 pledge you can receive an invitation to the event, being held at The Garage. The event is invite only by means of the Kickstarter rewards themselves, so if you are aiming to attend you’ll need to make sure you’ve pledged through the site before invites run out. With the fundraiser running for only 3 weeks, and with there being a lot of rabid Sonic fans, you’ll want to get in on this one before you miss your chance.
[Source: Sonic Stadium]
Check out the archive of the livestream available now! We take a look back at Summer of Sonic 2016 and talk more on Sonic Mania! I’m joined with Retro staff Overlord, Cinossu, Orengefox and Jen along with Becky(JennyTablina), Neowl and TrackerTD.
Tune in today for talk on Summer of Sonic, more Sonic Mania and more with Sonic Retro, SEGAbits and guests!
With Summer of Sonic drawn to a close, the staff at Sonic Retro and SEGAbits will band together for one more run to share their thoughts on Sonic Mania and more on this week’s SEGA Channel Retro livestream on YouTube starting this Saturday at 9PM UTC+1.
It’s been three years since the last Summer of Sonic, but this year the UK-based Sonic the Hedgehog convention was brought back for “One More Run” thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that reached half the requested amount inside 5 hours, and smashed the intended target by over another 50% on top. Clearly the fan demand was still there 3 years on, and excitement about the show reached fever pitch when it was confirmed shortly after the 25th anniversary party in San Diego that our friends at Sega America had generously supplied some demo pods for Summer of Sonic – attendees would be the first in Europe to play the hotly anticipated Sonic Mania. So, how’d the event go? Let’s find out, shall we?
Los Angeles, San Diego, St. Louis. Next stop: Empire City itself, New York City. Sega of America’s official blog confirmed that the East Coast now gets its chance to show the West Coast what kind of Sonic fans they are (sane, we hope.) Sonic Boom 2014 will be taking place in the evening of Oct. 4 from the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center. It’s safe to expect Sonic Boom (the game) to be at the event, along with a Crush 40 musical performance and a Q&A with Takashi Iizuka.
After last year’s Q&A, let’s just hope we get some better questions going so Iizuka, as entertaining as it was to watch, doesn’t go full troll mode. For example:
Fan: “Where’s Froggy?”
Iizuka: “He’s with Big.”
Fan: “…so, where’s Big?”
Iizuka: “He’s with Froggy.”
Over the past few years the Sonic series has hit a bit of a renaissance, with Colours and Generations achieving relative success critically as well as commercially. Typically, just as this turnaround is achieved, the newest game shows signs of radical change to the 3D Sonic formula that had finally gained acceptance. Sonic Lost World’s new design is the kind of decision that means it’s always interesting to chat to Takashi Iizuka, the man at the top of Sonic Team today and the public face of the team. He’s always cheery and approachable, but you can never quite predict the answers you’ll get from him. We caught him right at the beginning of Summer of Sonic, as the organisers were on stage welcoming attendees!
[Sonic Retro sits down at one end of the large room, with Iizuka and Sega’s interpreter. At the other end, Jun Senoue is faintly strumming away on his guitar, playing the Station Square music. When asked which site we’re from, the reply elicits the customary “Ah, Sonic Retro” from Iizuka.]
Retro: We’re seeing Sonic Lost World at the convention today, and one of the things that is very noticeable is that it goes back to an older, more classic visual feel for the game, with recognisable elements of the original Sonic the Hedgehog design. What motivated you to make this change?
Iizuka: With the previous game (Sonic Generations), it was for the 20th anniversary so we decided to celebrate Sonic’s history. With that one, we tried to compress 20 years of history into one title and aimed for a high quality, HD re-imagining of what Sonic could be. With Sonic Lost World, what we wanted to do was imagine how best Sonic should be going forwards. So we looked back at what we had done before and tried to think about what would the best, playability-wise for Sonic going forwards, and what’s the best look for Sonic.
With Generations, it was HD and really detailed, almost so much that it was hard to see the rings when you were running through the levels. So this time, we stripped everything back and tried to renew Sonic, and we simplified the graphics to match the playability, the style of what Sonic should be.
[Read on for Iizuka’s views on the limitations of Sonic’s previous 3D outings, inspirations for Sonic Lost World and differences between working in the USA and Japan!]
Summer of Sonic features an in-development game to play every year, usually for the first time to the public outside big industry shows like E3. This year, we got Sonic Lost World, on both Wii U and 3DS, making its debut in the United Kingdom.
First, a quick summary of what was on show. The rep told us this was the Comic-Con build, so for the few Americans in the audience who were there, we played the same game you did. There were three Wii U demo pods and six 3DSes running. On the Wii U game there were 4 levels available to play: Windy Hill, Desert Ruins 1 (styled with a small letter S shoe-horned in between the s and the e on the title card to make Dessert – a pun on the fact it’s a candy/sweets level), Desert Ruins 2 (an auto-run level through honey combs) and Frozen Factory (the Sonic 2-styled casino level). On the 3DS, there were 3 available choices – a Windy Hill tutorial level, Windy Hill 1 and Desert Ruins 2 (here, an Egyptian-themed puzzle level with moving around of blocks & balls). We tried to play as much as possible, bearing in mind that because of queue lengths there was a limit of one level per person. Those of you who recall back to Summer of Sonic 2010 may remember we did a look at Sonic Colours‘ debut – this time we have opinions on the game not just from myself but several Sonic Retro forum members, so read on to see what we thought!
Actual Monday Links: Summer of Not For Reupload Edition
So Summer of Sonic happened, meaning that new stuff was revealed there right? Well, besides this new Sonic Lost World trailer not really, but it seems like it was still a fun event for fans. Overlord did a write-up on his experience there, so be sure to check that out. If you want to know what the Sonic Lost World demo was like, an article with impressions from Overlord and other Retro members will be coming out soon. But for now, check out this stuff:
- Seriously, go read Overlord’s write-up on Summer of Sonic 2013 [Sonic Retro]
- vladikcomper put up a new video of his Sonic Winter Adventures hack, which has seemingly moved on to be for the Sega CD [Youtube]
- A new version of Dude’s Sonic Generations mod: Sonic Adventure Generations has been released [On our forums]
- MainMemory released a Sonic Adventure 2 Mod Loader for the PC version, along with a few mods to go with it [SA2 Mod Loader]
- Delta Hedgehog put up a new trailer for his fangame Sonic: Edge of Darkness, which will have a new demo at SAGE 2013 [Youtube]
- A new trailer for Sonic Lost World got released cause Summer of Sonic happened [Look up]
- The PC version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed got a new update which adds a character from Total War: Rome II [Sonic Retro]
- Atlus’ parent company might be getting bought by SEGA-Sammy [SEGAbits]
- SEGA actually made some money! [SEGAbits]
- Here’s a handy information guide for Sonic Boom, looks like we’ll be seeing some announcements there [SEGA Blog]
- What is Sonic doing in Ocarina of Time? [Youtube]
That time of year is upon us once again – Summer of Sonic, the Sonic the Hedgehog fan convention in the UK, held its 6th show this weekend just gone; back in London again following a brief visit to Brighton last year. This year the event boasted as guests Takashi Iizuka, Jun Senoue, and Kazuyuki Hoshino; with a playable build of the upcoming new title Sonic Lost World available. So let’s dive in, shall we?